Sept. 21, 2004
Stanford football head coach Buddy Teevens
addressed the media about his 2004 team and its preparation for its next game versus top-ranked USC this Saturday, September 25 (4 pm, PDT).
"We had an off week, and we're looking forward to playing USC."
On How The Team Spent The Off Week
"It was very productive. We focused on fundamentals. Our sense was that we needed to improve in the fundamental areas such as blocking, tackling, coverage, and throwing and receiving the ball. I thought we made progress in that regard in the last two weeks."
On Upcoming Opponent USC
"They're awesome across the board. There are no weak points and no Achilles heel. They protect the passer and the passer gets rid of the ball quickly. How they keep all of their running backs happy, I have no clue. There are three other guys who can play, and Hershel Dennis will be back this weekend. They're big, physical and fast. The kicking game with Reggie Bush as the return guy is devastating. The defensive front has controlled the run against everyone they've played. They are talented in the back, with good cover people. They don't allow big plays. They are a pretty good group."
On The Team's Reaction To Hosting A Top-Ranked Team
"The maturity level is what I've been impressed with the most. They have a tremendous respect for USC, they're a great team and a well-coached team. But, our players are really focused on ourselves, and the things we do. We want to play collectively as a team and give it our best shot on Saturday."
On Biggest Challenge Awaiting The Team Against USC (Offense Or Defense)
"I think it's a combination of both. Team football is one thing we stress with our team. Field position will be critical, and we've got to do a great job with our kicking game. They've got a great return group, so we've got to keep them at bay. Our return group needs to set up field advantage. Offensively, we have to keep their offense off the field to help our team. We need to control the football by run or by pass, move the ball and be point productive. Defensively, we have to keep a great offense off the field. The less time they're on the field, the greater opportunity we have for success."
On Stanford's Offensive Line
"We've progressed as a group. We had some tough situations last year, and a lot of young guys played. They are physically more developed, know what occurred a year ago and are really focused on what they're doing now. I think the group has really matured, but we still have room for improvement."
On USC's Pass Rush
"It's a devastating group. Those guys bring it and bring it hard. They get off blocks and try to put you into situations schematically where you have to single block them. It's as tough a group as I've seen. All four of those guys are tough and then they have Jeff Schweiger, who can come in and who is as good as the other guys."
On USC's Offense
"The tight end (Alex Holmes) is a tremendous blocker and also catches the ball and runs well. The receivers have real good speed and there are a number of them that can do things. In the backfield, they have three players that can hurt you and can also stretch the field. Reggie Bush is as exciting a college football player that you can find. He does everything and does it extremely well. At quarterback, (Matt) Leinart doesn't hold onto the ball and is very accurate with his passing."
On The Excitement Leading Up To The USC Game
"The guys are very excited for the opportunity to line up against a number one team. They understand what they need to do, and they need to play as a group. Again, I'm very impressed with the maturity level of this group. We have respect for this football team, but we'll be ready to play."
On Parity In College Football
"I really think that the balance in college football is at an all-time high. People need to play well, they need to be healthy, and they need to control the football. Games are close, and that's the beauty of the college game right now."
On Stanford's Running Back Situation
"J.R. Lemon has been very consistent for us and Kenneth Tolon has done a nice job as well. We have two starters, and they both bring similar traits as well as different ones in some regards. We run the guy with the hot hand. They will both play, as they both add to us and can spell each other."
On Mark Bradford And Stanford's Wide Receivers
"He's an athletic guy. Mark's progressed well, and I think we've been effective distributing the ball to all of our receivers. I think that type of a variety is difficult for the opposition to center on."
On Kicker Michael Sgroi
"He's been more consistent in practice, and he's settled in. He was pressing himself a little bit, but we're comfortable with the way he's practiced and what he's done. He's got a powerful leg and has been effective with his kickoffs. Derek Belch has been knocking on the door as well. We have answers if necessary."
On Quarterback Trent Edwards
"We've talked about self-preservation with Trent. Sometimes a young guy is not sure when to throw a ball away or when to hit the deck. He's a very competitive guy, and I think that's a learned process through the quarterback experience. I think he's made progress, and he took less hits last week. The thing we need to do at the quarterback spot is protect the football. Sometimes punting is not a bad thing, and not giving the other team field position for an easy score."
On USC Quarterback Matt Leinart
"(USC Offensive Coordinator) Norm Chow has done a great job developing him. He has continued to grow, which you can see with his decision-making ability. He's very accurate, and doesn't need a lot of space."
On Stanford's Fullbacks
"We can use them in play-action situations, throw the ball to them occasionally, and can move them around. They've been blockers primarily but have the ability to carry the ball as well."